The Men In Blue continued their dominance over the visitors as they take a 1-0 lead in the 3 matches T20I series. The Caribbean side reached Kolkata with high hopes to avenge the humiliation they suffered in the ODI series. Young Turk Ravi Bishnoi made his debut as Rohit Sharma picked a combination of 3 seamers and 2 spinners on the high-scoring track of Kolkata.
Chahal-Bishnoi leave batters puzzled, Pooran steals the show with the bat
Sharma opted to field as India won the toss once again in the series. The Indian bowling attack had an uphill task against a batting unit filled with power-hitters. Seasoned campaigner Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck early to dismiss Brandon King as the ball went straight into the hands of Suryakumar Yadav. The duo of Mayers and Pooran hung around for a bit to trouble the seamers but the former soon fell prey to Chahal soon after the powerplay. Wicket-keeper batter Nicholas Pooran unlike his reputation, was off to a slow start, looking to build a steady partnership upfront. However, the Windies lost batters at the other end, as the Indian spinners rarely gave them a chance to go for the big hit and ease the pressure.
Debutant Bishnoi took his maiden scalp in the 11th over after he dismissed Roston Chase cheaply off a dream googly. The colt did not have to wait long for his next wicket after he dismissed Powell off another googly in the very same over. Deepak Chahar who was going expensive with the ball, pulled off a stunner to surprise Akeal Hossain with a bouncer, causing more trouble to the visitors. The Windies were struggling to accelerate their innings while they lost a bunch of wickets in quick succession. Skipper Pollard and Pooran cut loose to add 61 runs in the death overs. Pooran hit a blistering fifty as the Windies finished at 157-7.
Captain’s blitzkrieg lit the powerplay, but middle-order disappoints
With a below-par total onboard, the Men In Blue fancied their chances to go 1-0 up in the series. Captain Rohit Sharma opened the batting with fellow MI dynamite Ishan Kishan. Sharma’s love affair with Eden Gardens continued as he looked in sublime touch and hammered the Caribbean pacers all around the ground. Hitting at a strike rate of more than 200, Rohit looked to cruise towards the target but fell short of his fifty as he got caught at the edge of the ropes in the 8th over.
India lost Kishan and Kohli in a span of four deliveries, pushing the team on a road for a tricky chase. Cottrell’s “salute” sparked in the Eden Gardens, as Pant made his way to the dressing room. Suryakumar Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer pulled the team out of crisis after the duo held their nerves in the final overs. Iyer finished things off in style with a huge heave-ho over the mid-wicket to accomplish the chase in the penultimate over.
POTM on debut, Bishnoi -The Rising Star
Bishnoi was awarded the Player of the Match award for his special performance on his debut. Team India ticked all the boxes in the game to put up an all-around effort in the 1st T20I. The rise of Suryakumar Yadav as a finisher will definitely boost Team India’s prep to clinch the WT20 later this year.
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